Top 5 U.S. Charity Organizations

Charity organizations serve as one of the most valuable resources for helping those in need. These humanitarian organizations fill a vital role, providing those who are less fortunate with everything from food and clothing to meaningful work and access to health care.

What do you know about the most influential U.S. charities? Consider the following information about the top five charities in the U.S. and what they are doing to help those who need it most.

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United Way Worldwide

United Way focuses on helping to create solutions that are both community-based and community-led. Their goal is to help people strengthen the cornerstones that make for a quality life: education, financial stability, and health.

Donations to United Way are used in a variety of ways, including:

  • Programs for early childhood education, which help children gain the skills they need for success in kindergarten.
  • Free tax preparation assistance, which helps to put billions of dollars back in the pockets of hardworking citizens.
  • Healthier lives for thousands of patients who benefit from preventive care support.

United Way has 2.9 million volunteers worldwide serving out of 1,800 local chapters in 40 countries. Each year, United Way has an impact on some 61 million lives.

Task Force for Global Health

This charity aims to improve health conditions for those who are especially vulnerable, such as those who live in poverty. They have a variety of programs to help control or even eliminate debilitating diseases, as well as build quality health care systems.

Among the accomplishments of funding provided to Task Force for Global Health are:

  • Helping to raise the rate of childhood immunization in developing countries, which went from 20 percent in 1984 to 80 percent in 1990.
  • Managing a smartphone-based application called LINKS that is used for the Global Trachoma Mapping Project, the largest disease mapping project ever undertaken.
  • Fighting the cholera disease by developing a comprehensive integrated strategy that helps to prevent and control the disease on a global scale.

The Task Force for Global Health operates in 154 countries, and managed a fiscal year 2016 budget of $3.2 billion, which includes in-kind donations of much-needed medicines.

Feeding America

Feeding America is a network that represents the largest domestic organization aimed at relieving hunger in the nation. Their goal is to eliminate hunger through the cooperation of individuals, governments, businesses, and charities.

Some of the ways that Feeding America aims to accomplish their goals are:

  • Working with farmers, manufacturers, distributors, food service companies, and retailers to collect and preserve unused food in a timely manner — before it goes to waste.
  • Securing a healthful variety of foods, including lean protein, low-fat diary, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables, providing these to food banks nationwide in an effort to counter some of the devastating effects of poor nutrition.
  • Making sure that the wide variety of healthful foods provided are kept safe, including food items that are considered highly perishable, such as lean protein and fresh produce.

With a network of 200 food banks and some 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, Feeding America serves essential nutrition to approximately one out of every seven Americans.

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is a religious organization that also embarks on a wide array of humanitarian endeavors. Among other things, charitable donations made to the Salvation Army are used in their efforts to:

  • Help disaster survivors with shelter and other basic needs.
  • Fight hunger, poverty, and domestic abuse.
  • Teach children, assist the unemployed, and care for the elderly.

Having pursued their mission since 1865, the Salvation Army now helps approximately 25 million people in the U.S. each year.

YMCA of the USA

“The Y” focuses on community development, striving for meaningful change both at the individual and at the community level. To accomplish these objectives, YMCA provides programs in the following aspects:

  • Youth development: With everything from child care to sports programs to overnight, day, and specialty camps, “The Y” is focused on helping to nurture the potential of each young person in the community.
  • Healthy living: “The Y” provides activities and programs to help reduce the risk of disease, promote wellness, and empower people to gain mastery over their health.
  • Social responsibility: By means of community-based programs, “The Y” develops innovative solutions to society’s most pressing needs, promoting positive social change by means of a volunteer spirit that unites people from all corners of humanity.

YMCA of the USA operates 700 facilities across the U.S., employing a full-time staff of some 20,000, with an additional 600,000 volunteers spread across 10,000 communities throughout the country. Each year, its services benefit an estimated nine million young people and 13 million adults in just the U.S. alone.